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Night of the Troglodytes 2018

By Mike Hamlett

Artistry at the beach

Wildwood, N.J., June 8—It was a typical warm clear summer night at the Jersey Shore for the 7th annual Night Of The Troglodytes motorcycle/chopper East Coast show. This annual event hosted by Harley Carrera of Tradition Cycles draws entries from local to global bike builders and designers. Dozens and dozens of classic two-wheelers filled the parking lot at Binn’s Motel for the Friday night party, complete with aromatic fragrances of unspent gas fumes emanating from old jetted carburetors and the occasional customary whiff of exhaust fumes. Crowds began to amass at the gate and in the display parking lot even before event organizers could arrange entries into their respective locations.

Night of the Troglodytes 2018

For the casual onlooker it would be easy to assume that at a bike party and exhibit appropriately named Troglodyte you would experience a dark or eerie presence upon viewing these custom and unique road monsters, however, this is very far from the truth. On display was your typical collection of thrown-together swap meet contraptions not rideable for the faint of heart with controls labeled suicide shifters and extreme raked-out front ends. Bike build enthusiasts as well as the average motorcycle fan was delighted by the impressive display of exotic paint schemes and artistry on many gas tanks and tins. Rusty chains draped polished chrome risers, crafted leather seats and seat pans welded to rigid frames adorned old-fashioned spoked wheels.

Young and old gathered in the lot to gaze at these works of moving art and occasionally straddling (with owner’s permission of course) the assembled metal for a posed photograph. As the evening progressed, crowds grew to standing room only; the experienced attendees arrived early before the masses to capture photos for their future build ideas. The party ambiance was set once the DJ completed his setup and started to play classic rock and roll along with the occasional sip of Hochstadter’s Slow & Low Rock and Rye Whiskey served from inside a custom ’70s van. It was the perfect prelude to The Race Of Gentlemen weekend.

Night of the Troglodytes 2018

Trophies were awarded to several outstanding builds, including an award by famed builder and painter Dave Perewitz. As a rider and one-time bike builder myself, it was an impressive display of iron, a party environment at the beach and enthusiastic educated motorcycle crowds culminated a night to remember only to complain it was over way too soon.

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